Children and Family Events

Saturday, May 23, 2015 - 12:00 to Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 17:00


Come & meet members of Wicklow's local Vartry Angling Club & try your hand at the heritage skill of fly tying

WHEN  :  Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th May, 12-5pm daily

WHERE :  Festival Site @ Abbey Grounds, Abbey Street

Fly tying is a common practice in fly fishing, considered by many anglers an important part of the fly fishing experience. Many fly fishers tie their own flies, either following patterns in books, natural insect examples, or using their own imagination. Fly tying is a bit of an art that requires you to tie an assortment of materials such as feathers, furs, fluffs, hairs, threads, or any of very many other materials, in a particular pattern and manner that makes them resemble a type of fly. The possibilities are endless through different combinations and it's all about the presentation of the fly and how you mimic its movement through the water upon your cast and retrieval, that will lead you to become a good fisherman.

Did you know ... The first literary reference to flies and fishing with flies was in Ælian’s Natural History probably written about 200 A.D.
The 1652 4th edition of John Dennys's The Secrets of Angling , first published in 1613, contains the first known illustration of an artificial fly.

Right : Illustration plate of artificial flies from Bowlker's 'Art of Angling' (1854)

Vartry Angling Club was set up in 1984, in the backdrop to Wicklow town at the Ashtown reservoir near the Wicklow rugby club, and has been promoting fly-fishing ever since. The woodlands surrounding the reservoir provides for an abundance of natural food, maintaining a stock of healthy fish. The club promotes an all-inclusive and friendly attitude with fly tying events, social events, barbeques, competitions and open events to members and the general public. With a plethora of experience, members are happy to advise any budding fishermen, share their passion and help you enjoy fly-fishing too. Facilities at the stocked private fishery include parking, picnic tables and maintained walkways around the reservoir through the adjoining woods. The facilities and fishery are maintained on a voluntary basis by the club.


Saturday, May 23, 2015 - 12:30 to Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 17:00


Exhibition of all entries to WAF's Environmental photo competition for children

WHEN  :  Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th May, 12 - 5 daily

WHERE :   Festival site @ Abbey Grounds, Abbey Street

See details below on how to enter, closing date Friday 8th May





Saturday, May 23, 2015 - 12:30 to Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 17:00


Have a go & try some moves on the GIANT CHESS set with Wicklow Chess Club

WHEN :     Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th May,   12 - 5pm daily

WHERE :  Festival site @ Abbey Grounds, Abbey Street

FREE  family event, all welcome !


Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 15:00


WHEN  :     Sunday 24th May,  3pm

WHERE :   Festival Stage @ Abbey Grounds, Abbey Street

FREE family event

There's no show like a Mr Cool show !   The coolest of muppets is back with a new adventure - this year 'Mr Cool meets Hairy Mary the extra large Fairy' . Join Mr. Cool & his friends on a camping holiday where he meets the Horrible Hairy Mary in her spooky castle ... oh yes he does! A show full of fun for everyone young & old.


Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 12:00


              'Oh, yes it is...!'  Back again by popular demand, it's  O’ Looney’s Punch & Judy & Magic Show

WHEN  :     Sunday  24th May, 12pm

WHERE :   Festival Stage @ Abbey Grounds, Abbey Street

FREE family event

Everybody loves a Punch & Judy Show ! This age old story features Mr Punch and his long suffering wife Judy, the Baby, Joey the Clown, the Policeman, the Crocodile plus various other characters and props...including the sausages!   That’s the way to do it!  Hosted by comedian Magic O’ Looney who will amaze and enthrall the whole family with his tricks


Saturday, May 23, 2015 - 12:00 to Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 17:00


WHEN  :  Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th, 12 - 5pm, workshops at 1pm & 3pm daily

WHERE : Festival site @ Abbey Grounds, Abbey Street

FREE drop in workshops & creative art installation

Join artist Genevieve under the trees to create your own piece of temporary sculpture or land art from natural materials, and add your own personal touch to Genevieve's large collaborative installation which will take shape over the festival weekend. Suitable for all the family !


Genevieve Harden is a socially engaged artist, practicing in Dublin since 1998. Her public practice is in both Educational and Community settings. Which includes exhibitions, installation, video, painting and performance as well as public commissions.
Education is a core motivation for her practice concerns flux, connections and tensions between past and present. She designs accessible processes, which center on securing a sense of identity. The work captures moments triggered from thoughts or conversation.

Genevieve also works as part of the artist team in a range of settings :
Creativity in the Classroom -  An artists in school project.
Draiocht, Center for the Arts, Blanchardstown -  Delivering visual arts projects to people of all ages with the Education and Outreach Department.
ReCreate artist team - An organisation which promotes up-cycling and creative reuse.


Friday, May 22, 2015 - 18:00 to Saturday, May 23, 2015 - 17:00


Exhibition of entries from The Stage Youth Café photo competition

WHEN  :  Open day & Exhibition on view Friday 22nd May from 6-10pm & Saturday 23rd May from 3-5pm, free refreshments

WHERE :  The Stage Youth Café, Community Resource Centre (old Parochial Hall), St. Patrick's Road

The competition is open to young people age 13-19 years on the theme 'Being Young' , for info on how to enter your photo visit the youth café's facebook page (see below)

The Stage Youth Café is a free drop in facility for young people aged 13 - 19 years, run by a voluntary adult & youth committee. With computers, games, books, pool, fooseball, snack bar as well as regular movie nights & other fun activities- this great space is designed by young people for young people! Find out more on facebook


Saturday, May 23, 2015 - 12:00


Exciting dance showcase by members of FYI Dance Club and Wicklow Youth Dance Company including a mixture of street dance, modern theatre & contemporary.

WHEN  :   Saturday 23rd May, 12pm   

WHERE  :  Festival Stage @ Abbey Grounds, Abbey Street

FREE family event

FYI: FUN, YOUNG, INCLUSIVE  FYI have been running classes in Wicklow for over 8 years, with the ethos that learning should be fun; that dance helps the physical, mental and emotional development of Young people; and that everyone works together and is included regardless of age, status or gender. Specialising in classes in Steetdance (Hip Hop) and Contemporary Modern Theatre for children aged from 4 years to young adult., they also provide classes for Primary schools based on the PE curriculum.

Wicklow Youth Dance Company (formerly InTensions Youth Dance Company) was set up by company director’s Kate O’Connor and Zoe Patterson in 2012 as an outlet for talented youth in the County Wicklow area to engage individuals in dance to reach a higher calibre of performance ability and expressive artistry. With a high value on inclusivity, cultural and artistic diversity, exploration of the greater environment and achieving attainable goals while challenging young artists to work outside of their comfort zone by engaging in various forms of technique training and choreography including Classical, Jazz, Contemporary and commercial styles of Street and Hip Hop dance.

For more info see

Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 13:00



Interactive dance showcase for all ages ! Come along to watch the award winning dancers from Wicklow Latin Dance studio

WHEN  :  Sunday 24th May,  1pm

WHERE :  Festival Stage @ Abbey Grounds, Abbey Street

FREE family event

WLD Dance and Fitness will be entertaining visitors to the Wicklow Arts Festival with some Strictly Come Dancing glamour and the latest fitness craziness that is Bowka Fitness.
WLD students will be showing you the Ballroom and Latin dances such as cha cha, waltz, Jive & samba featuring All Ireland U8 Champions, Max & Naoise, and Ireland’s U8 Champions Joshua and Faye.  WLD’s Bokwa enthusiasts –children and adults alike will be showing you what the latest fitness craze is all about. You can even join in and experience the Bokwa Buzz for yourself for free!

Check out WLD's website here   


Friday, May 22, 2015 - 15:30

Pick up the colouring sheet for your age category from 24th April from Hopkins, great prizes to be won!

WHEN  :  Colouring sheets will be available in Hopkins, or via their facebook page,  from 24th April, return your pictures by May 8th. Prize giving Friday 22nd May at 3.30pm

WHERE :  Hopkins, Main Street

Take part by picking up a colouring sheet for your age group ( 3-5yrs/ 6-8yrs / 9-12ys ) from Hopkins, make sure to return the finished artwork by May 8th.  Selected entries will be displayed in Hopkins window from May 13th and winners will be announced and prizes presented on Friday 22nd May at 3.30pm.

In association with Hopkins, Arts & Crafts Supplies. Main St., Wicklow Town.